Childcare and Pre-school Options in South Korea

Understand the different childcare options available to parents of toddlers in South Korea, including information on babysitters, nannies, au pairs, creches and nursery schools...

Babysitters

Babysitters are easily available in South Korea and are either paid hourly or daily. There is no compulsory insurance required for a babysitter.

Idolbom

This government nursing programme allows parents to hire a reliable babysitter from their local area for a reasonable hourly or monthly charge. The basic rate per hour is KRW 5,000 and the government subsidises costs depending on the family's income and the number of children. The following babysitting services are available:

  • Monthly babysitting service, which is only for babies under 12 months old
  • Daily service, which is for a maximum of four hours
  • Night services

Parents can apply at their local district office (Gu).

YMCA

The YMCA has various child care services. They offer babysitters, and they also have a child care centre for children between 20 months and eight years old, which is only available by reservation and is paid for on an hourly basis. All YMCA babysitters have civil liability insurance.

  • For more information about child care offered by the YMCA: Click here (in Korean)

Nannies and au pairs

Parents can find nannies and au pairs through the government nursing programme, Idolbom. Employment agencies also have information about nannies and au pairs.

No compulsory documents or agreements have to be signed by the employer and employee; however, non-Korean nannies and au-pairs can request that an official employment contract is issued and assured by a Korean Job Center.

Child care centres

Child care centres are called Euh Lin E Jip, and they are run by local governments, companies, non-profit organisations, as well as private institutions. Parents decide which centre suits their needs and then contact that centre directly.

Care centres focus on caring for children, but most have some educational classes for children who are over two years old. They cater for babies and children from the ages of three months to five years old, and are open from 07:30 to 19:30. Parents can choose the amount of time their children spend at a child care centre, but the fee paid is the same, regardless of the number of hours the child spends at the centre.

Fees vary from KRW 177,000 to 394,000 depending on the facility, its location, and the age of the child. There are government subsidies available, which depend on the family's income and assets.

Foreigners married to a Korean citizens and who live with their children can receive a government subsidy for child care. To benefit, apply at the local district office and complete an application form for an I Sa Rang card, which is then used to pay child care fees. The following documents are needed:

  • Foreigner registration card
  • ID of wife/husband
  • Korean bank account number

In Seoul, parents can put their children on the waiting list for child care centres in Seoul on the Iseoul website, where they can also view photos of facilities and their programmes.

There is also a nationwide hotline which provides support to multicultural families:

  • Multicultural Families Support Center, Tel: 1577 5432

Early years and pre-school education

  • For information on early years education and pre-school, see the INFOrmation Page Pre-Primary Education